Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Uriah Lee Family Collection, 1850-1912

Finding aid created by
Stephanie DeFouw and Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Uriah Lee family collection
Creator: Lee family
Inclusive dates: 1850-1912
Extent: 39 items
Abstract:
The Uriah Lee family collection (39 items) contains 32 letters, 3 diaries, and 4 additional items related to Lyman Uriah Lee of Foxcroft, Maine. Uriah Lee wrote 27 letters to his family while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, his brother Leonard wrote 3 letters while serving with the Union Army at Fort Sumter, and family members exchanged 2 additional letters. Also included are 3 diaries that Elizabeth M. Lee kept between 1851 and 1878, a poem, Uriah Lee's discharge papers, and a photograph.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2007. M-4582.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Preferred Citation:

Uriah Lee family collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Elizabeth M. Lee Journals
  • Series III: Documents, Poem, and Miscellaneous

Each series is arranged chronologically with undated items placed at the end.


Biography:

Lyman Uriah Lee (also known as "Uriah," "Uri," and "Ri") was born in 1837, the first child of Lyman and Elizabeth Lee (1814-1887) of Foxcroft, Maine. In 1862, he enlisted in Company F of the 5th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment; he later became a sergeant. In 1863, Lee enlisted as an orderly in Company M of the 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, and he mustered out as a 2nd lieutenant in 1865. He married Laura Comings (1844-1900) of New Hampshire in 1866, and they had at least one daughter, Tyra Huntress Lee (b. 1868).

Lyman and Elizabeth Lee had 6 additional children: Josephine ("Josie"), Catherine ("Katie"), Chauncey ("Chan"), Leonard ("Lennie") (1846-1864), Mattie, and Willis ("Willie"). Chauncey Lee served in the Union Army from 1861 to 1862, when he was discharged due to illness. Chauncey later married Eva Drake, and they had three children: Lyman, Chauncey, and Hattie. Leonard Lee entered the Union Army in 1863 and was killed in battle in 1864.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Uriah Lee family collection (39 items) contains 32 letters, 3 diaries, and 4 additional items (1850-1912) related to Lyman Uriah Lee of Foxcroft, Maine. Uriah Lee wrote 27 letters to his family while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, his brother Leonard wrote 3 letters while serving with the Union Army at Fort Sumter, and family members exchanged 2 additional letters. Also included are 3 diaries that Elizabeth M. Lee kept between 1851 and 1878, a poem, and Uriah Lee's discharge papers.

The Correspondence series (32 items) contains 27 letters that Uriah Lee wrote to his family while serving in North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D. C. Lee provided details about his daily life as a soldier, and discussed soldiers' attitudes toward officers, food, and clothing; encounters with former slaves; the weather; and political issues. He also mentioned specific battles, and his letter of May 18, 1863, includes a hand-drawn map of his company's route from New Berne, North Carolina, to Washington, D. C. Leonard Lee wrote 3 letters during his Civil War military service, and discussed similar topics. In his postwar letters, Uriah Lee offered advice to his younger siblings and discussed family affairs. Anne Lee wrote a letter to Lyman Lee in which she recounted the events surrounding the death of a man named Edward, and Chauncey received an unsigned letter about his wife Eva's visit to the writer.

Elizabeth Lee kept 3 Diaries between July 1851 and November 1878, concerning her thoughts and activities as a wife and mother. Among other topics, she discussed housework, the weather, her family, social engagements, and religion. Most of her entries are brief lines about the weather and the housework she was able to finish, with details of church meetings provided every few days.

The Documents, Poetry, and Miscellaneous series is comprised of 5 items. Fanny Hosier wrote Uriah Lee a poem that reflected positively on Southern rights and secession. Uriah Lee's military discharge papers from 1863 and 1865 are also included. A piece of ephemera illustrates 4 badges of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Agriculture.
    • Marriage.
    • Religion.
    • Soldiers.
    • United States. Army. Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, 2nd (1861-1865)
    • United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 5th (1861-1865)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Weather.
    • Women.
    Visual Subjects:
    • Maps.
    Contributors:
    • Hosier, Fanny.
    • Lee, Anne.
    • Lee, Elizabeth M, 1814-1887.
    • Lee, Leonard, 1846-1864.
    • Lee, Uriah, 1837-1915.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    • Discharges.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Manuscript maps.
    • Poetry.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Uriah Lee family collection [series]:
    Box   40, Small Collections Folders   8-12
    Correspondence,  September 1862-[November] 1871, undated
    Folders   13-14  
    Elizabeth M. Lee Journals,  July 1851-November 1878
    Folder   15  
    Documents, Poem, and Miscellaneous,  1863-1865, undated